The Story Behind The Service Design Fringe Festival

We managed to catch our founder, Lior, in a quiet moment to quiz her about all things Service Design Fringe Festival. Here's what she had to say.

Why did you start the Service Design Fringe Festival?

I started the Service Design Fringe Festival because I was dissatisfied; the same motive for a lot of entrepreneurs starting their own ventures. I was 24 and I was finding it hard to get a job as a service designer. I already had some great experience on my CV so it just didn’t seem right that it should be such a struggle. I’d been on the design scene, and attending the London Design Festival, for the last ten years or so (since I was 15) and I didn’t understand why service design wasn’t part of the London Design Festival. I thought: if it were part of it, there would be more awareness of the industry and its necessity and eventually more jobs - and then I would be able to get hired! I saw it as a long-term solution to problem that I, and other service designers, were facing.

If you had to sum up the Service Design Fringe Festival in a couple of sentences, what would you say?

The Service Design Fringe Festival is there to introduce service design to people who don’t know what it is. It’s also for practitioners to come together and help each other raise their game, through problem solving and co-design. It is also great for those involved in the industry to develop knowledge and networks. And, of course, for everyone to enjoy themselves!

[That was more than a couple of sentences, Lior, but we’ll let you off.]

What excites you most about the festival this year?

I’m a bit of a geek in some ways. I’m really excited about the quality of the events this year. The hosts have thought really deeply about things so we’re getting into the nitty gritty of the challenges within service design, which I love. We’re also going to have one or two events for kids, which is cool, so they can learn about service design for the first time.

I’m super looking forward to festival time - the vibe is unbeatable. It feels like a grown-up practitioner version of a design school studio, with camaraderie and candid constructive challenge. With the melting pot of people that come, in a mindset of inventiveness and goodwill, you can witness new knowledge being created when we come together. I come from a theatre family, so I try and bring a bit of fun and spectacle to the mix too. Why shouldn’t our work be fun?

We have lots of great partners for the festival. What would you say to anyone considering joining us as a partner this year?

Apart from supporting this amazing culture change of making service design a more established discipline with better quality outputs (as that’s what comes out of the festival: really great outputs), it’s also a really good way of getting in front of the best practitioners around today. As a company, getting your name in front of them means having lots of opportunities of getting those people on your team and gaining more, and better quality, clients.

What are your hopes for the festival in the next 5 years?

I would really like to take the festival around the world. A September London Festival, Milan in April and then San Francisco and Korea, to run alongside design weeks. I also hope we play a role in ensuring that service design doesn’t continue to be a fringe thing. I would like, in the next 5 years, to expand what we do to non-festival activities too. Perhaps learning opportunities and mentorship schemes to do with issues we’ve seen in SD.

Thanks very much for your time Lior and best of luck with the festival.

If, after our interview with Lior, you can’t wait to be involved or learn more, then we can’t wait to hear from you.

Potential partners, please get in touch with us at

For all other enquiries, you can contact us at